Sleep is an essential requirement to make sure you stay healthy. This week is Mental Health Awareness week and given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety

The more you sleep, the less you worry. Fact. Research has also shown that going to bed feeling positive leads to a more restful night's sleep. So a big part of managing anxiety is ensuring you have a good night's sleep

Here are our top six ways to chase the bedtime worries away..

  • Hang out with a friend - Sometimes when we are feeling low it is easier to brush of the invites and cocoon at home alone. Whilst we all need a bit of 'me-time' the old adage is a problem shared is a problem halved. Breaking the 'going solo' habit by purposefully spending more time with friends or family who love and appreciate us can really boost our mood
  • Get lost in a novel - not only does reading bring enjoyment and pleasure but we are also temporarily transported away from our own worries into a different world. Reading also makes us think and feel in new and different ways and take on new perspectives
  • Watch an upbeat film - like a good book escaping into the alternative world of a film can also help us avoiding brooding. They also help us release happy hormones as we laugh along and spark our emotions. Just stay away from horror movies and jump scares that trigger the release of adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol, especially before bed
  • Paint, cook or craft something - an active form of 'mindfulness' crafting helps us enter an immersive state or 'flow' where we are balancing skill and challenge and have to focus on something other than our thoughts. And the bonus is you end up with something homemade at the end of the exercise
  • Have a relaxing bath - another way to get that hormone high is taking a warm bath as the skin releases endorphins in response to the soothing water. The temperature and water pressure on the chest also increases lung capacity and oxygen intake, helping to further soothe the soul with deeper breathing. Add an aromatherapy bath oil like our Night-Time Bath & Shower Oils and you have the perfect bedtime wind-down
  • Seek help from an expert - talking things out with friends and family isn't right for everyone and sometimes a more neutral listening ear can be more help. You can ask your GP to refer you for talking therapies like CBT or refer yourself directly through the IAPT talking therapies services